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Paola Gianturco and her eleven-year-old granddaughter documented the work of fifteen girl-led nonprofit groups in thirteen countries in Asia and Central Asia, North and Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. They interviewed and photographed 90 girls. If you think “girls are the future,” prepare to be dazzled. These girls are changing our world right now.
Groups of activist girls age 10-18 are transforming our world: improving education, health, equality and the environment; stopping child marriage, domestic violence, trafficking and war. Their imagination and courage radiate through their stories, all told in their own words.
In this book, you will watch girls lobby U.S. senators; see Mexican girls invent mobile phone apps; meet Malawian girls who convinced Parliament to outlaw child marriage. You will eavesdrop on Ugandan girls as they advocate for girls’ rights at a UN meeting. And you will meet other girls as they write blogs, petitions, poetry, create radio shows, videos, invent dances, songs and works of art to promote their causes.
Wonder Girls: Changing Our World is a call to action to help these girls accomplish their important work. Alex Sangster’s sections, the finale of each chapter, tell you how.
The book’s Foreword was written by Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the world’s largest grant- making organization that benefits women and girls internationally.
The Global Fund for Women will receive 100% of the authors’ royalties from this book.
Paola Gianturco, author-photographer, has documented women’s issues in 62 countries for six powerHouse Books. Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon (2012) won four first place literary awards in categories as diverse as multicultural nonfiction and women’s studies. Wonder Girls: Changing the World is third in a triptych. Women Who Light the Dark described women activists; Grandmother Power told about grandmother activists. And now, girl activists. Paola’s images have been exhibited at the United Nations, UNESCO, The US Senate, The Field Museum/Chicago, The Museum of the African Diaspora/San Francisco, The Norton Simon Museum/Pasadena, The Grand Rapids Public Museum and more. She lectures internationally, presented a TED talk in Dubai, and has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, NPR and Voice of America programs among others. Paola serves on the advisory boards of three nonprofits: Rise Up/Let Girls Lead (which empowers girls to advocate for policy change), Pencils for Africa (a child-led initiative that aims to alter the narrative about Africa), and Global Grandmothers (who support children in need internationally). In 2013 Paola was listed among “40 Women to Watch Over 40,” and in 2014, Women’s e-News named her one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century.
Alex Sangster, author-photographer, is Paola’s granddaughter. Alex is something of a wonder girl herself. She and her sister launched a children’s program at a global poverty conference in Mexico because they were convinced that if children became friends, they might work together one day to tackle the issues that beleaguer our world. After conducting Face Time and Skype interviews with activist girls in 13 countries, Alex wrote the sections titled “How You Can Change the World,” which invite readers (and the girls in their lives) to support the girls’ groups featured in each chapter. When they started this project, Alex was ten and had been taking pictures for eight years. Alex captured almost all of the images in the chapters about activist girls in Los Angeles and Mexico.
Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, was born in Kenya, Musimbi traces her passion for human rights, peace, and justice to her Quaker family and community. She is one of 10 children – every daughter given the same educational opportunities as the sons. “I want the same for every girl and woman, no exceptions,” Musimbi has said. In 1998, Musimbi was general secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA and transformed it into a young-women-led organization. She was subsequently Director for Population and Reproductive Health at David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2014, she was named one of the 21 Women Leaders for the 21st century by Women’s E-News. In 2015, Forbes Magazine named her one of 10 women “power brands” working for gender equality. Musimbi has PhD’s in both Linguistics and Feminist Theology.